A study published last week by IP Key Latin America and Colombia’s Dirección Nacional de Derechos de Autor (DNDA) highlights the current economic contribution that intellectual property makes to Colombia’s national economy and its importance in the economic future of the country.
Copyright is linked to the creation and production of a musical, visual, technological, or literary work, and to its distribution and consumption in the market. The industries that work directly with copyright, says the study, are diverse, mobilize large resources, generate wealth, employment and foreign exchange for the country and, even more significantly, are the object of particular interest in international trade negotiations.
Carolina Romero, the former director general of the DNDA who worked on the study, said that it is necessary “to make a sector of the economy visible that is not usually given the importance it deserves, but that constitutes a great opportunity to promote activities with high added value that affect the competitiveness and productivity of a country like Colombia, characterized by a wide cultural diversity and that today points to a digital transformation that has gradually impacted not only the different ways of production and exploitation of content protected by copyright and related rights , but it has also modified the forms and habits of consumption.”
In 2018, the contribution of industries dependent upon intellectual property represented 3.0% of GDP, equivalent to 27.1 trillion COP ($7.1 billion USD), sustained growth, taking into account the figures of previous years: $ 17.1 trillion COP in 2006 to $23.6 trillion COP in 2015. This participation in GDP is explained by the fact that the average annual growth of the intellectual property-related industries (6.6%) was lower than that of the national GDP (8.1%).
According to IP Key, in the period analyzed from 2006 to 2018, intellectual property-derived industries generated 225,112 new jobs. In 2018 these industries employed almost one million workers, or 4.2% of the country’s employed population, contrasting with figures from previous years of just over 800,000 workers in 2007 and almost 920,000 in 2013.
The low labor productivity of the intellectual property sector is characteristic of the Colombian economy where most employment occurs lower on the value chain, with reduced technological endowments and with high doses of temporary employment and informality.
For Portuguese lawyer Pedro Duarte (above photo), leader of the IP Key Latin America project, “The trends present in this study allow us to project an increase in private investment and in the productivity and competitiveness of the industries that work with copyrights. This, however, is subject to the need to articulate policies that allow productivity to reach a greater specific weight and that the economy be more competitive.”